Online platform to offer employees simpler way of sharing Covid-19 test results, vaccination records

Sync enables firms to retrieve results of swab tests taken by employees, as well as their vaccination statuses. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - Organisations seeking a hassle-free method of collecting Covid-19 swab test results and records from their workers can now use an online platform developed by the Government to do so.

Known as Sync, the platform enables firms to retrieve results of swab tests taken by employees, as well as their vaccination statuses.

It is free for use and was developed by Open Government Products, a division of the Government Technology Agency, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

The platform was made publicly available for all organisations on Tuesday (Feb 15), after a soft launch last November.

It can be accessed through a browser, such as Google Chrome, by users with a valid Singpass account or by organisations using Corppass.

Employees using Sync must first consent to the platform sharing their vaccination status, as well as results of antigen rapid tests (ARTs) and polymerase chain reaction tests with their organisations.

Such information not only includes results of swab tests conducted at clinics, hospitals and other approved centres - which is retrieved from a central Covid-19 database connected to the platform - but also results of self-administered ARTs that the workers had uploaded to the platform.

Such information is consolidated into daily reports, which are then sent by Sync to the relevant organisations.

But the employees can choose to remove their consent for the data to be shared to an organisation at any time, such as in situations when they are changing jobs.

Open Government Products said workers typically self-declare their test results and vaccination records to their employers.

This is an administratively onerous process, especially for those working at multiple companies - where their records require updating and validating across different platforms and organisations, it added.

"Employers, on the other hand, may not have the most timely data for the early detection of Covid-19 positive cases in the workplace to help contain the spread of the virus," it said.

"Additionally, members of the public have expressed a desire for better control over how they share Covid-19 data with organisations."

Open Government Products noted that employers in high-risk sectors lack a scalable way of collecting consent and keeping records up-to-date.

"We came up with the idea of Sync to enable employees to give consent for employers to access specific records on a subscription basis, so that they do not need to go through the hassle of resubmitting records or updating multiple organisations when statuses change," it said.

The platform currently has more than 150,000 users across 80 organisations from various sectors, including healthcare institutions and ride-hailing companies Grab and Gojek, which were onboarded after its soft launch.

Grab and Gojek told The Straits Times that prior to using Sync, their driver partners had to submit ART results and vaccination statuses directly to them.

Gojek said this was done through online forms that it had created for driver partners.

"The introduction of Sync provided a one-stop integrated solution to efficiently record and verify data submitted by our driver partners," the firm added.

Adjunct Associate Professor David Foo, who is medical director of the National Healthcare Group Heart Institute, also has praises for Sync.

"Prior to Sync, we were using self-designed FormSG platforms to submit our Covid-19 results," said the doctor, who works at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and with Woodlands Health.

"There is no standard design of such forms across organisations and of what kind of information is essential for practical use purposes."

Adjunct Associate Professor David Foo said the Sync platform is quick and easy to use. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

He also said some of the form designs required users to fill up numerous questions.

Prof Foo said the Sync platform is quick and easy to use, needing only a total of three mouse clicks to submit an ART result.

Responding to ST's queries on whether students will be included as users in future, Open Government Products said staff of schools under the Ministry of Education are presently using the platform.

"We are currently unable to include students younger than 15 years old as they do not yet have access to Singpass, but we may include them by developing alternative log-in features in future," it added.

It also plans to expand the platform's scope to cover more than just Covid-19 data.

Organisations looking to use Sync can register to be onboarded on the platform's website. They can also view an online onboarding guide for more information.

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